I have a beautiful almost 6 month old baby girl. She has been very demanding since day 1. In the hospital, she would cry whenever she was placed in her bassinet. She cries when she can't see anyone even for a second. I've read over the Dr. Sears website regarding High Need Babies and she fits almost every aspect. I just kind of fell into attachment parenting in order to survive. I had no idea it was a thing until after she was born. My DH and I have been talking about having another, but I kept waffling because I can't imagine continuing to parent this way with 2 children. I can't hold them both for every nap! I can't sleep with both, they'll have different bedtimes and LO will wake up within minutes if I'm not in the bed. I told my husband I wanted to wait another year and see where we were then. Good plan, right? Except I found out this weekend that I'm pregnant. It's a welcome surprise because I'm sure I would have never pulled the trigger. And I know that some women would kill to be in my situation, but I can't help feeling bad for my daughter. I feel like I have to sleep train her now. I don't want to wait until the new baby is here because I don't want her to resent them. She literally won't sleep if I'm not touching her. I don't know what to do. I think we're going to have to move too because we live in a 2 bedroom townhouse and it won't be fair to have DD in a room by herself and the new baby in our room. I need words of wisdom and encouragement, please! I'm in over my head.
ETA I just realized I posted something similar in March when DH and I were discussing when to have another. So sorry! Didn't want to dirty delete so I'm just letting you all know I'm aware and sorry for clogging up the board!
Re: I feel awful...(long)
I also occasionally feel guilty for turning her world upside down, but I think that this pregnancy has
made natural changes in our lives that are easing all of us into welcoming a new baby! Good luck!
Before you read it, I just wanted to tell you that I reread it and I don't personally agree with everything she says and it may not be 100% helpful or relevant to you because your daughter is younger!
I definitely used this as a starting point. Especially after
reading it the second time I realized that I didn't really follow it at all. I am a deep sleeper, so it did not work for me to have to wake up and try to remember what day we were on and how many minutes or whatever. The first night that I didn't do the normal, she cried for about 20 minutes, but I rubbed her back the whole time. The second night went great, third night was terrible. Then we were fine for about a week and she got sick so it all flew out the window.
Finally, after about 1.5-2 weeks she started just knowing it was bedtime and to fall asleep. I mentioned before that she listens to vacuum cleaner sounds to fall asleep so as long as those are playing, she usually is asleep within a few minutes!
I think you have time and if you get hit with morning sickness, you're probably not going to be up for too much (at least that's how I was...I did whatever it took to get her to sleep so that I could fall asleep. But it passes, and I'm actually shocked at how quickly and positively she responded to it! Good luck, when I read your post it just brought back all of the emotions that I felt when I first found out I was pregnant!
ETA: I just read it and while breastfeeding didn't work out for us I still think this is a very good starting point. We already have a sound machine playing for naps and at night. So I'm going to just add a muslin blanket and pick up a diffuser tomorrow. Even if it doesn't work, or if it takes longer than the 2 months, I still think this is a great starting point and it sounds so much nicer than anything else I've read regarding this. I'm sure there will be some tears, but it will make me feel better knowing that the consistency in itself should be comforting. Thank you again for responding!!
What at were your drinking habits prior to knowing you were pregnant? FASD possibility? Or just sensory processing disorder?
This is not normal. Our FASD needed holding for naps but was not even this clingy. Slept through night at 14 mos when weaned.
I thought occupational therapy at this age was only for eating or motor skills, both of which she is doing well with @Knottie1442268460
ETA it never occurred to me that she may have some type of disorder... Pretty sure it's just a survival instinct since babies aren't meant to be left alone because in the wild they would die....
I also want to share, that every baby is unique, and that extends to siblings too! My first was and is a very sensitive child. Wanted to be held often, preferred me, resisted daycare with all her might, was happy to be worn for hours. Now at 3yo, she likes to be held while I cook, and needs a good snuggle at storytime (afternoon quiet time) and bedtime. She's very empathetic, aware of and caring for the needs of others. Her feelings are easily hurt-if she's reprimanded she just crumples and cries, we need to redirect and teach. That said, she's never had a tantrum-she's exceptionally articulate for her age and will talk out her emotions. She is also self-aware and potty trained early (1.5yo).
Her little sister has been the easy baby-sleeping in a crib, putting herself to sleep, happy to be down playing with DD1... it worked out better than imagined! To prepare for DD2 we did get her sleeping independently (gently, making gradual changes over months) but I don't recommend it for you because of her young age. Just keep on keeping on, and see what the new baby is like. I do recommend No Cry Sleep Solution for good ideas on building habits for high needs babies.
This is a little over the top IMO. OP has a 6 month old baby. They are needy. Why jump to FAS?!
I don't think that person was suggesting this.
You sound like you are panicking a little and want to make changes NOW because a baby is on the way and I get that. I freaked too when I was pregnant with my second child. It's scary but you aren't in over your head. Things have a way of working out when the second baby comes along. You fall into a rhythm. Try not to stress now. You have plenty of time to make some changes so that things are easier when the new baby is here.
My opinion is that sure, your baby might grow out of this but I truly believe all babies need some sort of sleep training. If you really do want things to change and for your baby to sleep better before the new baby comes then you can definitely do it. It can be done! Don't be afraid of sleep training. There are plenty of gentle options out there. Just pick one and stick to it night after night. If you are consistent, it will work.
Try not to focus on all the things that will be hard with 2 kids, or about encouraging affection between siblings, etc. You don't need to think about that stuff now. That comes later. Take this sleep stuff one day at a time You got this.
You DO have time. Remember that. I didn't read any sleep training books with my kids when they were younger, I did just wing it BUT I was consistent and that is key with anything sleep related. You don't have to read book after book, just watch for tired cues, do your bedtime/nap routine, put her in her bed and walk out. Wait 10 minutes, go back in, rub her back, reassure her you're there then leave again. Rinse and repeat. It works, trust me.
Hang in there!
I don't think sleep training is a good idea for some of the same reasons mentioned above. Plus, again she is only six months. Her main source of nutrition is still breast milk/formula for another six months or so. By sleep training, she is missing out on much needed nutrition. Are you going to sleep train her every time her sleep patterns change?
Once the new baby is born, you can still successfully co sleep (not necessarily bed share). You can have the baby in your bed or bassinet. If your daughter is still in your room, side car a crib to your bed for her. Put a toddler or single mattress in your room for her to sleep on.
There are sooooo many options than to just wean and/or sleep train. I am a huge believer of babies transitioning when they are ready. Sleeping and self soothing are developmental. She will do both when she's ready.
ETA my daughter will not sleep on a different surface than me either. She will not sleep in a crib sidecar, a bassinet, a pumpkin seat etc. she goes to bed at 6 PM and I literally have to hold her the entire night. If I get up to even go to the restroom she will usually wake up. The longest I've been able to sneak away was 37 minutes (not counting or anything) lol that was a total fluke.
No kidding? We all know this. But her 6 month old isn't missing out on "much needed nutrition". That's a stretch, and completely missing the point of OP's post. She just doesn't want the baby to ONLY sleep on her. She's trying to get her in her crib, not sleeping through the night.
Our infants, younger than OP have needed therapies. It is not just for eating. It's for kids that can't self soothe too. Maybe there are sensory issues.
Eta: I have also read they can be used as early as 4 months. Basically when your baby starts to understand the world of relationships (cf: the wonder weeks) or starts getting separation anxiety.
Your suggestions are awfully extreme.